Morocco Cuts Irregular Migration Attempts to Spain by 70% in July

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A boat carrying irregular migrants in the Mediterranean.

Rabat –  Morocco’s help in managing border control and the abortion of irregular migration attempts resulted in a “significant decrease” in the migration pressure on Spanish coasts, reported Spanish news outlet ABC.

ABC said that the month of July ended with a significant decrease in irregular migration. Quoting data from the International Organization of Migration, the Spanish news outlet said that security services intercepted 2,362 migrants and at sea compared to 7,885 in the same period in 2018.

The number of aborted attempts in July represents a 70% decrease.

Data also show a decrease in irregular migration attempts in Ceuta and Melilla. ABC said that 226 people managed to enter Spain through the fences of Ceuta and Melilla, against 1,085 in 2018. 

ABC added that as of July 25, operations against irregular migration detected reached 24,117 in 2018 against 15,851. The number represents a 34.2% decrease in irregular migration attempts.

Read Also: Morocco Arrests Spanish National Suspected of Organizing Irregular Migration

In March, Spanish Minister of Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska  said that Morocco’s security services are “leading to a decline in the arrival of migrants to the Spanish coasts.”

He added that “coordination with the countries of origin and transit in the fight against these networks has led, since February, to a decline in migrant arrivals that is being confirmed during this month of March.”

Like Spain, the Moroccan government has also expressed satisfaction with the cooperation with Spain against organized crimes.

Moroccan director of migration at the Ministry of Interior, Khalid Zerouali, explained in July in an interview with El Pais that border control “has helped to ease the migratory pressure, but we must continue to work to strengthen this.”

“It is true that on the Spanish side, we feel that the migratory pressure has decreased, but on our side, it continues to increase,” he said, commenting on Morocco’s successful operations to decrease the flow of migrants entering Spain.

Spokesperson of the government Mustapha El Khalfi said in May that the decrease reflects the “great” effort of Morocco’s law enforcement forces against the issue of undocumented migration and the trafficking networks active in this area.

He added that the statistics “testify to the considerable efforts” made by Morocco to combat irregular migration networks, especially those active on the Morocco-Spain axis.